Vietnam

Vietnam
Explore the vast underground Cu Chi Tunnels used during the Vietnam War, tour Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon) and see the European-inspired architecture, visit the famous China Beach, see the striking Thai Hoa Palace in Hué and cruise along Ha Long Bay.
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Day 1 Start tour
Day 2 Chào ông Ho Chi Minh City
Arrive late on day 2 or early on day 3
Day 3 Ho Chi Minh City landmarks
Meet your tour director and check into hotel
Ho Chi Minh City guided sightseeing tour
War Remnants Museum visitReunification PalaceSaigon Notre-Dame BasilicaCity Hall
Details: Vietnam War Cu Chi Tunnels visit
Hospitals, latrines, cafeterias, meeting rooms, hallways -- all underground. Anti-colonial forces began digging these tunnels in the 1930’s for resistance maneuvers against the French and Japanese, and continued to expand the 75-mile network during the Vietnam War. To escape American troops, they would stay underground for days or weeks at a time. Frustrated, American soldiers carpet bombed the entire area; large holes show the site of these explosions. Squeeze down the tiny tunnels, now a major tourist attraction.
Details: Ho Chi Minh City guided sightseeing tour
An elegant city built on marshland, the economic center of Vietnam, a metropolis of heavy Soviet architecture and sprawling American-style hotels. Ho Chi Minh City (still often called by its former name of Saigon) comfortably -- and profitably -- combines Vietnam's competing colonial influences. See French symbolism at the Notre Dame Cathedral and City Hall, either of which would look right at home on the Côte d'Azur. The War Remnants Museum looks unflinchingly at the wars with both the French and the Americans, and at the damage inflicted on the country and its residents during the wars. You can almost step back into that time at the Reunification Palace, preserved as it was on the morning of April 30, 1975, when South Vietnam surrendered to North Vietnam.
Day 4 Ho Chi Minh City
Ho Chi Minh City walk
Vinh Nghiêm Pagoda visitLacquerware workshopChinatown (Cholon)Thien Hau PagodaBình Tây Market
Details: Ho Chi Minh City walk
Praying for an end to the war, Buddhists from Japan donated a large bell to the newly built Vinh Ngheim Pagoda. The pagoda now stands as the city's largest and most beautiful temple. Since the early 1800’s Ho Chi Minh City's various Chinese populations have been settling into the crowded, lively streets of the Cholon district, bringing their own regional specialties and skills to the area. All are on display at the Binh Tay market, where sellers aggressively push their food, gifts, clothing, and more. Need an escape? The Thien Hau Pagoda offers a spiritual renewal, with bright decorations and clouds of incense. Get a deeper look at Vietnam's crafts at a traditional lacquerware workshop. Considered the best in the world, Vietnam's lacquer bowls, boxes, and trays can take up to four weeks to make.
Day 5 Ho Chi Minh City--Hoi An
Fly to Da Nang
Hoi An city walk
Historic town
Details: Museum of Cham Sculpture visit
From the 7th through the 17th centuries, Champa culture flourished in southern Vietnam. The culture was heavily influenced by India and brought both Hinduism and Buddhism into the country as well as creating a superb artistic heritage. See the highlights of Cham sculpture in this museum, including elaborate altars to Shiva and intricate animal figures.
Details: Travel to Hoi An via Marble Mountains & China Beach
Surf's up. China Beach, once famous as an R&R destination for American soldiers (and from the American TV show "China Beach"), now holds a different honor: In 1992, it was the site of Vietnam's first international surfing competition. The beautiful Marble Mountains, said to represent each of the five elements (water, wood, metal, earth, and fire), surround China Beach. The mountains contain mysterious caves and caverns, many now dedicated to deities.
Details: Hoi An city walk
Miraculously escaping the ravages of Vietnam's modern wars, the merchant city of Hoi An brings visitors back into old Vietnam. The town was once a major international port, and the influence of the Japanese, Portuguese, French, Dutch, and Chinese merchants who walked its streets lingers in its architecture. See merchant houses and shops from the 1700’s with their unique wooden doors, a picturesque Japanese-style covered bridge, and imposing assembly halls for Chinese residents with your tour director.
Day 6 Hoi An--Hue
Travel to Hue
Details: Mausoleums of Emperors Khai Dinh & Minh Mang visit
Emperors Minh Mang (ruled 1820-41) and Khai Dinh (1916-25) built grand temples to serve as their palaces after death. Authoritarian Minh Mang used 10,000 workers for three years to construct his Chinese-style complex, while the construction of Khai Dinh's mausoleum took two years longer than his nine-year reign. The result is a frothy Baroque palace filled with elaborate dragons and other decoration, much of it imported from France.
Day 7 Hue--Hanoi
Fly to Hanoi
Details: Imperial Citadel visit
The capital of Vietnam from 1802 to 1945, Hué still flashes its first-city pride at the citadel. Emperor Gia Long created a full city within its walls; unfortunately, his magnificent buildings were mostly destroyed during the Tet Offensive of the Vietnam War, which leveled most of the city. What remains is still impressive, however, especially the Thai Hoa Palace, whose gleaming red and gold interior hosted major imperial ceremonies. Don't miss the soaring Ngo Mon gate at the entrance -- in addition to its elegant watchtower, the gate boasts two entrances dedicated for use solely by the emperor's elephants.
Details: Huong He (Yellow River) cruise to Thien Mu Pagoda
The Thiên M? Pagoda, built in 1601, is the oldest pagoda in Hue, and it has historically been active as an intellectual and political hub of Buddhism. During the war one of its monks, Quang Duc, set himself on fire in Saigon to protest the violence of war; the blue Austin car he used to drive himself there is still on display at the pagoda.
Details: Dong Ba market visit
The colorful, noisy Dong Ba market is a perfect place to shop for souvenirs. Be sure to check out the translucent conical hats, called "non Hue." A local specialty, the hats are designed with multicolored patterns or writing on the inside that reflect prettily on the wearer's face when the sun shines.
Day 8 Hanoi landmarks
Hanoi guided sightseeing tour
Ho Chí Minh MausoleumOne Pillar PagodaTemple of LiteratureArmy MuseumOld Merchant Quarter
Details: Hanoi guided sightseeing tour
Hanoi's mix of eleventh-century temples, crowded merchant streets selling the same goods for the past 500 years, grand French colonial palaces, and increasing Western-style modernity show the city for the long-standing capital that it is -- Hanoi has more or less been the administrative center of Vietnam for 4,000 years. See its evolution with a local licensed guide. Ancient Vietnam is captured at the One Pillar Pagoda, its tiered main section balancing delicately on a single pillar rising from a lake, and at the Temple of Literature, built in 1070 as a center of Confucian education. The tortoise statues surrounding the central well support columns carved with the names and biographies of students who successfully passed the state examination between 1442 and 1779. (Can you imagine a turtle delivering your SAT scores?) Hanoi's Old Merchant Quarter is the only one that survives in any Vietnamese city, and merchants still offer up traditional crafts, foods, and clothing. Ho Chi Minh drafted Vietnam's Declaration of Independence when he lived in this quarter in 1945. He now rests embalmed beneath glass at his mausoleum, where visitors can pay their respects to the country's revolutionary leader. The nearby Army Museum chronicles the country's turbulent history from the anti-colonial revolutions in the 1930’s through the present day.
Details: Water puppet show
Wade in. Vietnamese water puppets originated in the rice paddies of northern Vietnam, where farmers would use the flooded fields as stages to act out satirical stories with their bamboo figures. Modern puppeteers stand waist-deep in water-filled tubs, and a screen hides their movements as they gracefully manipulate the floating puppets.
Day 9 Hanoi
Seafood lunch onboard
Details: Ha Long Bay cruise
Water-breathing dragons? Legend claims that the enormous limestone boulders in Ha Long Bay arrived when dragons descended to defend Vietnam; they liked it so much that they stuck around, the mother's spine creating one side of the bay, the baby's tail creating the sand beach opposite, and the rocks they spewed at the invaders becoming the enormous islands that dot the bay.
Day 10 Hanoi--Ho Chi Minh City
Hanoi city walk
Hoàn Kiem LakeNgoc Son Temple
Fly to Ho Chi Minh City
Details: Hanoi city walk
A tranquil oasis within busy Hanoi, Hoan Kiem Lake constitutes the very heart of the capital city. The lake's name means "Lake of the Returned Sword"; according to legend, King Le Loi freed Vietnam then crossed this lake on a giant tortoise, who swallowed Le Loi's sword and dove down with it to return it to the gods. (The Tortoise Tower in the middle of the lake commemorates this event.) The legend may have some basis in fact -- there have been recent sightings of six-foot-long turtles here. The temple in the middle of the lake was restored in the 1860’s by one of Vietnam's great writers. In addition to the pen-and-ink motifs you'll see, he added several word puzzles along the pathway to the building.
Day 11 End tour

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  • Day 10 Hanoi--Ho Chi Minh City
    Hanoi city walk
    Hoàn Kiem LakeNgoc Son Temple
    Fly to Ho Chi Minh City
    Details: Hanoi city walk
    A tranquil oasis within busy Hanoi, Hoan Kiem Lake constitutes the very heart of the capital city. The lake's name means "Lake of the Returned Sword"; according to legend, King Le Loi freed Vietnam then crossed this lake on a giant tortoise, who swallowed Le Loi's sword and dove down with it to return it to the gods. (The Tortoise Tower in the middle of the lake commemorates this event.) The legend may have some basis in fact -- there have been recent sightings of six-foot-long turtles here. The temple in the middle of the lake was restored in the 1860’s by one of Vietnam's great writers. In addition to the pen-and-ink motifs you'll see, he added several word puzzles along the pathway to the building.
    Day 11 Start extension to Hong Kong
    Fly to Hong Kong
    Day 12 Hong Kong landmarks
    Hong Kong guided sightseeing tour
    Star Ferry ride across Victoria HarbourKowloonVictoria PeakTai Po Man Mo Temple visitRepulse BayStanley Market
    Details: Hong Kong guided sightseeing tour
    Shopping, shopping, shopping. Hong Kong's history as Britain's Asian economic centre means that the city has always buzzed with sellers and buyers. Get a taste of the action at Stanely Market, where clothing and souvenirs are offered, and Kowloon, a district jam-packed with shops, restaurants, and apartment buildings that offers an amazing view across the harbour to the islands of Hong Kong. Take a spiritual break at the Tai Po Man Mo Temple. Named after the Taoist gods of literature ("Man") and martial arts ("Mo"), the small 150-year-old temple is noted for the coils of incense that hang from the ceiling, perfuming the entire building. Find even more sanctuary, and a better view, on Victoria Peak, once the enclave of wealthy Westerners and now a refreshing break from the energetic pace of the city below.
    Day 13 End tour
    Map of Vietnam Educational Tour
    Tour Includes:
    • Round-trip airfare
    • 8 overnight stays (10 with extension) in hotels with private bathrooms
    • Breakfast daily
    • Dinner daily
    • Full-time services of a professional Tour Director
    • Guided sightseeing and city walks as per itinerary
    • Visits to select attractions as per itinerary
    • Ha Long Bay lunch cruise
    • Tour Diary™
    • Note: On arrival day only dinner is provided; on departure day, only breakfast is provided
    • Note: Tour cost does not include airline-imposed baggage fees, or fees for any required passport or visa. Please visit our Fees FAQ page for a full list of items that may not be included in the cost of your tour.
    We are better able to assist you with a quote for your selected departure date and city over the phone. Please call 1.888.310.7120 to price this tour with your requested options.
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    3237.00 total fee
    Basic Options


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